NZDF Begins Repatriation of Sailors in England
The New Zealand Defence Force will begin repatriating two Royal New Zealand Navy sailors buried in England.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has begun repatriating two Royal New Zealand Navy sailors buried in England.
This is the third tranche of project Te Auraki (The Return), under which the NZDF is bringing home personnel and dependants buried overseas after January 1955, following a change in government policy.
A blessing ceremony has been held at St Mary Cray Cemetery in Kent, ahead of the exhumation of Engine Room Artificer Apprentice Philip Short, 20, who had just completed three years training at HMS Caledonia when he died in a vehicle accident in 1958. Another blessing ceremony will be held in Plymouth for Leading Engineering Mechanic William Goodwin, 25, who was posted with HMNZS Bellona when he died following a head injury playing rugby in 1956.
Once the personnel have been identified, Royal New Zealand Navy personnel will conduct a continuous vigil around the caskets until the remains are handed over to their families in New Zealand. The fallen personnel will be received with a traditional Maori welcome and the caskets will be carried past a guard of honour as they are formally handed over to their families.
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The Chief of Navy and New Zealand Herald of Arms Extraordinary have approved the ships badge for HMNZS AOTEAROA
Wellington. The design reflects the different roles and expected areas of operation for AOTEAROA, her connection to the people of New Zealand and her ability to represent New Zealand in the Pacific and the Ross Sea. It shows the blue of the pacific sky, the white of the ice shelf and long white cloud, the oceans we sail upon, our people and the active role of the ship in sustainment. It is a fitting badge to represent the ship.
The motto for the ship will be Kōkiritia: Onward. Kōkiritia means to thrust forward, champion a cause, advance, lead or advocate. Onward was the motto that was adopted by HMS NEW ZEALAND. Bringing the two together in Te Reo and English reinforces the bicultural nature of the RNZN, while referencing our history.
For more information visit HMNZS Aotearoa MSC project